Rep. Joy San Buenaventura received a letter from Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige announcing that the state has released $500,000 in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding to finance a master plan for Pāhoa Elementary School.
Gov. Ige said:
Aloha Representative San Buenaventura:
I am pleased to let you know that my administration has released funding for thefollowing Capital Improvement Project(s) (CIP):
Description: To finance a master plan for Pāhoa Elementary School.
Amount Released: $500,000
Mahalo for your work on behalf of the residents of your district to secure these funds. Projects such as these are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building a better home for our kupuna, keiki, and all the residents of Hawai‘i.
A list of released CIP and CIP Grants-In-Aid (GIA) will be emailed once a month.
By working collaboratively, we can climb the mountains of challenges that face Hawai‘i.
With warmest regards,
David Y. Ige Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Rep. Sanbuenventura said:
“Pāhoa Elementary School is the oldest elementary school in Puna. Despite its continued growth, Pāhoa Elementary School has had only one building and had been operating mostly from portable classrooms, a sub-standard administration building and no cafeteria. In fact, part of its playground has been coopted by the county for a baseball field.
Little children walk a careful line with escorts to cross the street to Pāhoa Intermediate/High school to eat. Thus, it is a long time coming that a master plan to design the school is finally coming to fruition instead of the hodgepodge portables connected by sometimes-covered walkways that the teachers and children have had to endure.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has given six more states the thumbs-up on their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act: Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, and New Hampshire.
These approvals bring the grand total of approved state ESSA plans to 33, plus Puerto Rico’s and the District of Columbia’s. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia submitted plans last spring, and all but one of those states, Colorado, have been approved. Another 34 states turned in plans last fall, and so far, 18 have been approved.
So what do the approved plans look like? Below are some highlights of the state’s draft applications…
Read the full article here: May require an Education Week subscription.
Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here’s some useful information:
The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues to try and use local agriculture in student meals through its ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program, which kicked off last year with locally grown beef. This month, HIDOE and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office have partnered up with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and various local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools.
“We’re highlighting locally grown bananas by serving either a fresh Banana Pie or Banana Crumble one day in January at every school cafeteria,” said administrator for School Food Services Branch Albert Scales. “By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawai‘i to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home.”
Scales said serving the bananas in a dessert would make it more appealing for students. “Instead of serving raw bananas that students can peel and eat, we wanted to be creative,” he said. “Part of introducing new foods to children is making it fun for them. If the new food looks interesting, they’re more inclined to try it.”
While HIDOE is changing the way food is purchased, prepared and delivered, the ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program is also a great opportunity for Hawaii’s agriculture community.
“This new program that was developed under the Farm to School Initiative continues to cultivate the partnership with our schools, farmers and ranchers,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “It also connects students with the farming community, allowing them to experience the taste and freshness of what Hawai‘i has to offer.”
Approximately 34,000 lbs. of bananas are being provided by several local farms, including Sugarland Growers Inc. and ‘Ohana Banana Farms, to name a few.
“We’re excited to be working with the Department of Education on incorporating more fresh, local produce for Hawaii’s public school students,” said owner of Sugarland Growers Larry Jefts.
Jefts said purchasing local foods from our food safety certified farms on each island also helps to support and strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy.
“Buying local creates important economic opportunities and supports our community’s growth and sustainability,” said Jefts. “The money that is spent on locally grown foods is reinvested with other local businesses and services across the state. There are numerous benefits as a result of this coming full circle.”
The Farm to School Initiative started in 2015, and was led by Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui. The program was created to increase locally grown food in student meals through a partnership with Lt. Gov. Tsutsui, HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center. Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which also incorporates school gardens, nutrition, health and food education, test kitchens, meal programs and menu planning at Hawai‘i’s public schools.
One thing we’ll keep stressing again and again this week: how far federal policy has moved since the days of the No Child Left Behind Act (ESSA’s predecessor). Read on.
So, what kinds of goals are states setting?
Some states chose fixed goals that aim for all students, and all subgroups of vulnerable students, such as those qualifying for subsidized school lunches or English-language learners, to reach the same target (such as 80 percent proficiency). What’s nice about this kind of goal is that it sets the same endpoint, making it easier to see over time how achievement gaps are expected to close. States in this category include: Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, (grades 3-8 only), Ohio, Minnesota, New York, Rhode island, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Read the full article here: May require an Education Week subscription.
Parents of students at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate (KSBE) students received an email from Vice President of Education Dr. Holoua Stender, notifying them of new graduation requirements that would begin with the class of 2022.
A new set of unified high school graduation requirements for all three campuses was recently approved by the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees. These new requirements will enable Kamehameha Schools students across the three campuses to have access to comparable and consistent educational experiences, founded on the achievement of the E Ola. Learner Outcomes which will assist each student to grow toward realizing his/her full potential as good and industrious global citizens and servant leaders.
“I am sincerely grateful to nā Poʻo Kumu (principals) and nā Poʻo Kula (headmasters) from Hawai‘i, Kapālama and Maui for their incredible work in creating our first-ever set of Kamehameha Schools graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2022,” said Education Vice President Dr. Holoua Stender.
The new graduation requirements will begin with next year’s incoming freshmen class (2022). Students in the classes of 2021, 2020 and 2019 will continue to follow the requirements set forth prior to the new tri-campus graduation requirements.
The new requirements are categorized into three areas:
Nā Papa ‘Ikoi (core courses)
Nā Papa Mauli (electives)
Nā Mauli Hiwa (non-credit courses).
*Language requirement includes two years of Hawaiian language (Hawaiian 1 and Hawaiian 2). Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 1 may earn placement in Hawaiian 2. Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 2 may earn placement in Hawaiian 3. Students who attain proficiency in Hawaiian 2 via assessment, or by completing the Hawaiian 2 course, may choose to enroll in Hawaiian, or another language (e.g., Japanese, Spanish, etc.) and complete at least two years of their selected language to fulfill the language requirement.
As a part of Nā Papa ‘Ikoi and Nā Papa Mauli, students will earn 26 core and elective credits. In addition, all students will be required to take two years of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language).
“This emphasis on ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi conveys Kamehameha’s commitment to cultivating a strong Hawaiian identity, which we believe provides a competitive advantage for our haumāna and graduates.
For the Nā Mauli Hiwa requirement, students will participate in school-based activities which foster character development, cultural identity, college and career readiness, safety, health and well-being, and servant leadership. A notable component in this new educational experience is a culminating senior capstone project demonstrating how E Ola! Learner Outcomes become embodied in student-centered, personalized projects which enable haumāna to become local and global leaders, who are culturally engaged and play significant roles in creating strong ʻohana and communities throughout ka pae ʻāina o Hawai`i and beyond.
The approved requirements align Kamehameha to other independent schools, while also acknowledging emerging trends in college acceptance requirements. As haumāna explore their options for college and career, they will be confident knowing that Kamehameha Schools has prepared them with rigorous and relevant courses of study. Haumāna wil be equipped with skills, knowledge and values through our Hawaiian culture-based program of study which will prepare them with a unique growth mindset for learning and leadership in the complex global society of today.
Our kumu, administrators and operations staff continue to put their hearts and souls into creating wonderful and enriching educational experiences for your keiki. As always, I am grateful for their dedication to our haumāna and to all of you, for fulfilling the sacred mission that Ke Ali‘i Pauahi set forth for us 130 years ago.
Our campus staff will continue to discuss and review these new graduation requirements among their colleagues, department heads, and campus leaders, and will work diligently to prepare our haumāna as we take this important step forward.
More information will be forthcoming about the Hawaiian language proficiency assessment for incoming freshmen and their senior capstone project. This information will be sent out by your student’s campus. The new requirements and frequently asked questions are available online if you would like to see more. If you have other questions about the new requirements, please call your son’s/daughter’s counselor or the high school principal’s office.”
Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is excited to announce its 2018 Scholarship Program will be accepting applications starting January 2, 2018.
Eight deserving Hawaii Islanders will each receive $2,500, totaling $20,000 given in scholarships, to help support their transition to higher education. HCFCU has provided scholarships to Hawaii Island students for more than 32 years.
Each scholarship is named after an HCFCU volunteer or manager who made important contributions to the organization.
Five of the scholarships — Peter Hirata Scholarship, Albert Akana Scholarship, Katsumasa Tomita Scholarship, Frank Ishii Scholarship, and Mitsugi Inaba scholarship — are awarded to students based on need, academic achievement, career goals, and extracurricular activities.
The John Y. Iwane scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior that meets all the criteria mentioned above with plans to enter an agriculture-related field of study.
The Michael Asam Scholarship will be awarded to a senior who actively participates in an HCFCU sponsored Student Credit Union as a teller or as a Student Credit Union Board member.
The Yasunori Deguchi Scholarship will be awarded to a post-graduate on Hawaii Island, currently attending college or going back to college.
HCFCU’s Scholarships are open to our Hawaii Island communities. You do not have to be a member of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. You must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible to apply.
Graduating senior from any Island of Hawaii high school and planning to attend a post-secondary college or four-year college during next school year as a full-time student(post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum); or
A posthigh school graduate on Hawaii Island who is either currently attending, or going back to, a post-secondary college or four-year college as a full-time student (post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum).
The following is required in order to complete your application.
Career Goals & Educational Plans
Financial Need -Verified EFC signed off by counselor. FAFSA will need to be completed. (not required for post-graduates returning to college)
Interested applicants may fill out an application online at HCFCU’s website, www.hicommfcu.com. The online application streamlines the process and allows the applicants to save their work and complete it at a later date.
Applications and all required information must be received by April 2, 2018 to be considered.
Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, federally insured financial institution owned by its 40,000 members. HCFCU’s branches are located in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala, along with Student Credit Unions in Kealakehe, Kohala and Konawaena High Schools. In 2018, HCFCU will open its first-ever branch in East Hawaii in Hilo. In addition to complete checking and savings services,
HCFCU provides service-minded financial professionals to help facilitate mortgage, land, construction, small business, educational, personal and auto loans; drive up tellers; credit and debit cards with rewards; online and mobile banking; investment services and youth programs. HCFCU also supports numerous Hawaii Island non-profit organizations and community events. Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents.
The U.S. Department of Education is cranking out responses to state’s plans for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act at a fast and furious pace. The latest states to hear back are: Hawaii, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. (Scroll down to see which other states have gotten feedback and who has been approved.)
All five states, whose feedback letters were released Thursday, have work to do on the nuts-and-bolts of the accountability plans, their ideas for identifying and fixing schools, and more. Here’s a quick look at some highlights of the responses. Click on the state name to read the full letter.
Hawaii: The department wants the Aloha State to identify languages other than English spoken by a significant number of students. States must “make every effort” to offer tests in those languages, according to ESSA. And Hawaii needs to be more specific about what it will take for a school to get out of low-performing status. Right now, Hawaii says those schools need to make “significant improvement,” but it doesn’t say what that means. Hawaii also needs to make sure disadvantaged and minority students have access to their fair share of qualified teachers.
Kentucky: Kentucky needs to make sure that its English-language proficiency indicator stands alone, right now, it’s lumped in with other indicators in the state’s accountability system. The state also needs to make clear that it is targeting schools as “chronically underperforming” because of the performance of historically overlooked groups of students and not for another reason. And Kentucky cannot include writing test scores as part of a school’s overall “academic achievement” score, because those tests aren’t offered in every grade…
Read the full story here: May require an Education Week subscription.
The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) this morning received encouraging feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) following a review of its State plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). USED officials gave the indication for “ultimate approval of the plan” during a call with HIDOE officials.
“We had a great discussion with federal education officials who determined that Hawaii is well on its way for approval once we make minor adjustments to our consolidated plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The State plan is a culmination of a community effort and it’s rewarding to see that the USED recognizes Hawaii’s effort and commitment to providing equitable and accessible education.”
ESSA is a reauthorization of the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the prior reauthorization, most commonly known as No Child Left Behind.
Following the Hawaii State Board of Education approval, the Superintendent and Governor David Ige submitted the signed state’s ESSA plan to USED in September 2017. The Hawaii ESSA plan is designed to support HIDOE’s Strategic Plan objectives, which provides common direction for public schools to empower students in their learning.
“I’m pleased to learn that we are close to getting our ESSA plan approved,” said BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto. “The plan reflects our collective commitment to providing a well-rounded education for all students.”
HIDOE is making the necessary adjustments where further clarification is being sought on student supports that are already in place. Once the non-substantial changes are made, Superintendent Kishimoto will send the State plan to the USED for final approval.
…on to our next question, which deals with ESSA funding. It comes from Sarah Boder, the director of policy & affiliate relations at the North American Association of Environmental Education.
Boder wants to know: “What’s the latest timeline for distribution of Title IVA funds to states? Are they able to receive funds as soon as their plans are approved? Do you have any sense of how many states will opt to administer those grants competitively, given the smaller appropriation?”
First off, what exactly is Title IV? And what does Boder mean by a “smaller appropriation”?
ESSA cut dozens of programs in the U.S. Department of Education and combined them into one giant block grant districts can use for everything from safety and health programs to arts education to Advanced Placement course fees. The program was supposed to get about $1.6 million annually, but Congress only provided $400 million for fiscal 2017. To help districts get more bang for their buck, lawmakers gave states the option to compete out the funds. They could also choose to dole them out by formula, with the goal of giving each district at least $10,000…
The grinding, two-year process of drafting accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act has upended states’ K-12 political landscape and laid bare long-simmering factions among power brokers charged with putting the new federal education law into effect this school year.
The details tucked into dozens of plans being turned in to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos this week were hammered out by a hodgepodge of elected and appointed officials—from governors and legislators to state school board members and local superintendents—during sometimes sparsely attended meetings, caucuses, and task force sessions.
Further complicating matters, 12 governors, half the nation’s state superintendents, and half of legislatures’ education committee chairpersons are new to office since the passing of ESSA in December 2015, when significant policy leeway was handed back to the states from the federal government.
“The problem with devolution and decentralization is that, by definition, you’re going to get a lot of variation … in terms of effort, political will, and the effectiveness of those efforts,” said Patrick McGuinn, a political scientist at Drew University in New Jersey who has studied state and federal policy and followed the implementation of ESSA.
In many cases, politicians, lobbyists, and membership organizations used their political prowess, technical expertise, and longevity to successfully push their agendas in the crafting of 51 state-level ESSA accountability plans.
Hammering out plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act has been a source of tension for rival policymakers in many states.
Governors in Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, and Wisconsin rejected their states’ ESSA plans after the required 30-day review process. The plans can be submitted without governor approval—indeed, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos approved Louisiana’s plan—but such a thumbs-down indicates to the federal Education Department that there’s not political consensus over details.
State Boards of Education
In states such as Delaware, North Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia, legislatures attempted to strip the powers of their state boards of education over key education policy areas even as the states readied their approaches to ESSA implementation. In North Carolina, the state board sued the legislature over an education law passed during a special session that board members said violated the state’s constitution.
Lawmakers in states such as Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia passed bills that dictated components of states’ ESSA plans regarding school accountability and testing. That left local superintendents and state board members frustrated.
State superintendents in Alabama, Colorado, and New Mexico resigned in the middle of the ESSA-planning process after high-profile debates over key policies, leaving practitioners in the lurch and states in some instances making last-minute changes.
But the nature of state politics left out other groups, some of which will spend the coming months restructuring their spending and staffing priorities to more effectively lobby in the inevitable battles to come over the new law.
“The politics of federalism is going to dramatically change going forward,” said Sandra Vergari, a political scientist at the State University of New York at Albany who has studied federal education policy. Following all 50 states “is going to be a lot more work for us scholars, policy analyst, and advocates.”
Unlike prior federal versions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESSA required “meaningful stakeholder engagement” in crafting state plans—without defining who a stakeholder is or how much or what type of engagement needs to be conducted.
Many state superintendents said shortly after ESSA was passed that they had a natural incentive to put an end to years of polarizing debates over standards, accountability, and testing. But as the ESSA planning process unfolded, power grabs ensued in a number of states. Those traditionally in charge of education policy sparred with each other and with lawmakers eager to take on a share of the new responsibility.
In North Carolina, for example, the Republican-controlled legislature—just days before Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper took office this winter—decided during a special session that the state board should no longer oversee key accountability and school turnaround decisions, and that those decisions should be left up to the state’s recently appointed Republican state superintendent.
The board sued, and a judge decided last week to delay the law, which has held up the state’s ESSA planning process.
Delaware’s legislature stripped its state board of several powers, and a pending bill in Washington would scrap that state’s board of the ability to oversee portions of its accountability system.
And after years of infighting, Indiana’s legislature decided this year that the state’s elected superintendent should instead be appointed by the governor.
In other states, crucial policy decisions over testing, state goals, and how to define an ineffective teacher fanned flames between advocacy groups and politicians.
The governors in Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, and Wisconsin all refused to sign off on their states’ plans before sending them to Secretary DeVos. (A plan still can be turned in without the governor’s signature.)
And Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley asked DeVos to send the plan back (something his office is not allowed to do) after he took issue with portions that dealt with special education students. That state’s board-appointed superintendent involved more than 300 people in the development of the plan, a process the lieutenant governor said still left the state’s special education community without a voice.
“What we have in our system is all these interest groups across the political spectrum that have a lot of power and say,” said Calley, who has a child with special needs. “There’s no organized group with PACS and electoral power in our system that represents the parents.”
State superintendents, many with their own political agendas, were left walking a political tightrope in some states. Several didn’t survive.
In a political snub, Hawaii’s since-replaced state Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi wasn’t invited by Democratic Gov. David Ige to sit on the state’s ESSA task force.
New Mexico’s secretary of education, Hanna Skandera, resigned in June shortly after turning in her state’s controversial plan, which upset the state’s teaching force. And just last week, Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance resigned after a bruising evaluation by the state’s district superintendents who took issue with his leadership style and the ESSA development process.
Advocates Weigh In
National, state, and local advocacy organizations all scrambled throughout ESSA planning to adjust to the fluid situation. A board meeting in California in July, for example, fielded dozens of comments protesting the state’s proposed accountability system.
In other states, advocates skipped state board meetings and went straight to their legislature.
Maryland’s Democratically-controlled legislature, pressured by the state’s teachers’ union, effectively wrote the state’s accountability system into a law called “Protect Our Schools Act.” The bill survived Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto and inflamed state board of education members who accused politicians of trapping students in failing schools.
Ohio’s teachers’ union and parent groups managed to convince the state’s superintendent in the spring to stall the turning in of that state’s plan after they convinced enough people that the plan would ramp up school testing.
And Kentucky’s legislature passed as part of its new ESSA-aligned accountability system a sweeping education bill that mostly scrapped a historic school governance model that had elevated parent voices in the form of school-based-decision-making councils.
The battle pitted Kentucky’s politically weak parent groups against the state’s well-financed superintendents’ association and teachers’ union. It flew in the face of a working relationship the three parties had forged over the years in fighting for more school funding from the legislature as the coal industry collapsed.
“We’ve been together for so long and through so much together,” said a disappointed Lynne Slone, the attorney for the Kentucky Association of School Councils.
In Florida, Rosa Castro-Feinberg, a civil rights activist for minority and English-language-learner students, said she will shift her efforts to the local level if the state’s ESSA plan passes federal muster. Castro-Feinberg launched a petition and letter-writing and media campaign to stop several waiver requests from being attached to that state’s plan, an effort that ultimately failed.
Others, however, see an opportunity for advocates and policymakers to forge ties across state lines in the wake of the sometimes-tense ESSA planning, especially on common issues such as the achievement gap, the effects poverty has on schools, and stagnant student performance.
“For some states that are diving into this more deeply, doing the soul-searching, you’re seeing a lot less partisanship,” said Michelle Exstrom, the Education Program Director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Education shouldn’t be a partisan issue. I think when you have a sense of urgency, you figure out that it’s in everyone’s best interest to improve outcomes, and leaders get motivated to go to the table to fix it.”